Learning @ the Speed of Technology

I’ll be traveling from the Midwest Google Summit to Illinois State University on Tuesday, November 5th to do the keynote for the T21Con Conference and the ISU College of Education.  I’ll be speaking about educational technology to a large group of students who are studying to be teachers, about what makes sense, what does effective use look like, and what they can expect as they enter the profession, relative to technology.

Illinois_State_Redbird(160)The title of the presentation is “Learning @ the Speed of Technology” and has been written to challenge them about their thoughts about the intersection of technology and learning.  As new teachers entering educational careers, they’ll face a number of challenges that all new teachers have always faced.  But these students will encounter a more complex landscape than new teachers would have even five years ago.  They’ll have to negotiate the additional complexity of different types of ubiquitous technology initiatives, including BYOD, 1:1, cloud-based learning environments and the capacity that students have in the personal devices that they carry.

So, my lead off question is:  “Can you be a good teacher without using technology?”   Those of you that have been at it awhile know the answer to that.  It’s an easy response, but it’s the wrong question to ask and of course that’s intentional.  That question focuses on the actions of a single element of the learning equation – the teacher.  A better question focuses on students and their learning experience, and whether a contemporary learning experience should/can be designed without the consideration of the usefulness/appropriateness of technology.   People have learned forever without technology, and so that’s the easy excuse.  People will continue to learn without technology, and whether that is right or wrong is contextual.  But there is no doubt that technology will be a larger part of their life experience than ours, and that demands that they should have the opportunity to use technology to support their learning.  I’ll make the case that technology integration is not the responsibility of the teacher or school – in a contemporary school, the choice to use, or not use, technology should be a decision owned and made by the learner.

I’ve got five killer exemplars on high-quality learning that are supported by technology that I will share so that they can see what it looks and feels like.  All support student agency and empowerment, opportunities to build skills and develop habits of the mind, and require the capacity to learn in a more complex ecology of physical and digital space.

This is certainly a new audience for me and I’m looking forward to providing some insights and challenging their thinking.  See you there!

image from vector-logo.com


  1. Stacey Mooney says:

    I enjoyed your presentations at Illinois State University. During your presentation you used a tablet and a phone to write on a Google Docs document from your voice. What app did you use? We have students who would greatly benefit from being able to use their voice rather than their hands to compose.

    Stacey Mooney
    Eureka Middle School

  2. davidjakes says:

    Hi Stacey: thank you for your kind comment. No app actually. All you have to do is open the Google Doc, and select the microphone on the keyboard. Sometimes you have an option on your keyboard of how to input using the keyboard, holding that key down will give you the option of selecting the microphone. Open the doc, press the mike, and start speaking. It’s that easy. One note: the transcription is really quick on Android devices, somewhat slower on Apple products.

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